Village Knowledge Centres provide a conduit for faster and effective information and knowledge exchange to the rural communities
A VKC is a digital-based system linking farmer communities with shared interests through smart phones and social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram.
May, 2018 – A VKC was established in Kangundo village, Kenya. Since the launch, 382 farmers, extension agents (both from the public sector and NGOs), and other stakeholders have visited the centre (as of January 2019), mostly seeking information on Brachiaria grasses and poultry.
Since its inception, the VKC has connected over 100 farmers on social media (WhasApp), providing a platform where information on cultivation of Brachiaria grass including management, conservation and feeding is shared. Additionally, notes are exchanged on livestock feeds.
The VKC’s main objective is to disseminate relevant and necessary information to the rural community that would, in turn, pave way for enhanced knowledge and farmer connectivity, increased income and reduced risks. It complements the existing extension services.
- Empower the community with timely and accurate information
- Ensure connectivity & capacity building (ca. 8000 farmers)
- Bridge the knowledge gaps amongst the farming communities
- Improves gender balance in extension services
The VKC concept was developed and successfully implemented in India by MSSRF (e.g. NIBIO -CLIMADAPT project in India). InnovAfrica researchers visited MSSRF, Chennai in India to get a first-hand exposure and training on VKCs.
Thereafter, two VKCs were piloted, perhaps for the first time in Tanzania and Kenya. They are generating great interest among farmers, extension agencies and scientific community in the areas. Farmer recruitment, content development, connecting farmers through mobiles and social media is in progress in both the VKCs.
There are plans to organize trainings and workshops for women and youth in the year 2019.